Tag Archives: gavin rossdale

Tastes in Music, or: Do Opposites Attract?

Thought I’d write this, when I read an article about the new No-Doubt-album, the other day. It said something like Gwen Stefani having always been very outgoing about the relationships inspiring her songs, whether it was with her fellow band-members or her as-of-now-husband Gavin Rossdale. I was going “Wut?” and read the sentence over, again. I have to say, I totally missed the recurring rumors about their supposedly upcoming and inevitable divorce. Having done a bit of research since, I’m not yet really convinced it’s going to prove true, this time around. Of course, a couple of things about Rossdale have hit the headlines since the couple married. Even if I personally couldn’t care less about whether or not he fathered a child with Pearl Lowe, or whether or not he’s had a gay relationship. I mean, him saying you have to try things before you can know what you like is a stance I vehemently disagree with. Some things you just don’t have to try for yourself to know they are no good. It’s the reason I don’t drink, the reason I don’t take drugs, the reason I’ve stayed away from most slippery slopes … well, the ones I recognized ahead of time. But it’s probably also part of the reason I’m not a rock-star. So, yeah, whatever. But those are definitely the kind of things that put a strain on a marriage

Now, I have no idea what state their marriage is in, though it does strike me that both are going back to what they did before the marriage, Rossdale to Bush, Stefani to No Doubt. I wouldn’t be able to tell whether they’re a good match from first-hand experience, not personally knowing either. So, it’s purely from a music-lover’s perspective that I’ve always wondered how those two get along. Should be pretty obvious by now that I don’t like No Doubt, very much, nor Gwen Stefani’s solo stuff, either. To sum it up, when I read that she’s one half of a punk-rocker, I want to scream “WRONG!!!” and then add a few more exclamation marks. She’s 100% pop, she acts the rapper, and she acts the punk-rocker. The public person I know is a poser. (And by the same rationale I feel like Marilyn Manson and Rammstein are pop, definitely posers. More commercially successful but nowhere near as credible as Trent Reznor or Tool, e. g.)

I don’t have the answer, but I find it an intriguing question, how much tastes in music tell about how well two people fit together. It’s obvious that there are cultural differences to this, around the world. I want to talk about two kinds of music in Germany that freak me out (Schlager and Mallorca-Party-Tunes), but people in other parts of the world wouldn’t understand. I’m inclined to compare to Country and Western music, but having been to Texas, I feel it doesn’t get across what I mean to just anybody, either. Let’s try this: How good a match can somebody who goes crazy in the moshpit and screams along to e. g. Sum 41 or Bullet for my Valentine and somebody who hums Celine Dion songs, all day, possibly be? It’s just music, you may say. And it’s true, looking at kids in clubs, these days, it seems like there’s a tendency to embrace various kinds of music. To the extent that it sometimes leaves me wondering how a single person can like all of them, and that’s even when I, myself, like to listen to Celtic Airs just as much as to hardcore punk. You get to a point, however, where you wonder what the music that is closest to a person’s heart, if you will, says about that person’s outlook on life, about their personality. For me, personally, I feel like my love of noisy and, to some, aggressive music is definitely mirrored by a tendency to not accept what feels wrong, sometimes on the verge of obstinacy, by an urge to say “No” if that’s what I feel, even if everybody else is saying “Yes”, or especially and more gleefully so if everybody else is saying “Yes.” It even feels more punk, at times, when that seems to make me defend the establishment, like when I’m saying “Yes” to Europe, when it seems to be the fashion to be Euro-sceptical. What I’m driving at is: You may dismiss my taste in music as unimportant, but I believe it is just a display of certain aspects of my personality which make me like a certain kind of music. These aspects are part of me as a person. Sure, there are people to who music just isn’t that important. And to those, it may not apply in the same way. But how much more than to me must it apply to musicians, where a certain kind of music is not just close enough to their heart to make them want to listen to it, but to express their own thoughts and emotions through it.

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Juppy’s Mixtapes (1)

Because some songs from last Thursday’s concert still reverberate in my head and leave me in a music mode, I thought I’d share some of the mixtapes I’ve been making for a friend who’s hosting our irregular PnP RP sessions. Here’s to you, Juppy! Thanks for sharing your living-room, even if we don’t always leave it in the best of shapes.

Now, for sharing those mixtapes, or essentially the playlists, here, I was looking for a good social networking app that could basically just take my iTunes playlists, make them browsable, link some related information, and potentially offer samples. Unfortunately, I didn’t quite find one that worked well for me. I looked at mixtape.me and playlistify.org, but the former didn’t know about a lot of songs I was looking for, the latter could parse my iTunes playlists, but didn’t adhere to the track order. Being somebody who believes that there is not just such a thing as a good song, but also the right time for a song, changing a handicrafted order is a plain no-go to me. Then there is spotify, but especially after hearing how little artists get paid for airtime on spotify, I decided against that, too. That eventually leaves me with a good old text table.

This first mixtape, I suppose, though generally trying to cross it all over, is a bit Indie-ish — trying to introduce Juppy to The Bravery in various phases of their band development and the corresponding, quite distinct sounds. If you buy all the songs, they should fit snugly on a single audio CD.

Name Artist Album
Rock & Roll Queen The Subways Young For Eternity
God Must Hate Me Simple Plan MTV Hard Rock Live
Mit freundlichen Grüßen (MfG) Die Fantastischen Vier 4:99
Time Wont Let Me Go The Bravery The Sun And The Moon
La Tristesse Durera (Scream To A Sigh) Manic Street Preachers Gold Against The Soul
Books From Boxes Maximo Park Our Earthly Pleasures
The Kids Aren’t Alright The Offspring Americana
An Honest Mistake The Bravery The Bravery
Up All Night Blink 182 Up All Night
Welcome To The Cheap Seats The Wonder Stuff If The Beatles Had Read Hunter…The Singles
I Predict A Riot Kaiser Chiefs Employment
Your Ex-lover is Dead Stars Set Yourself on Fire
The Drugs Don’t Work The Verve Urban Hymns
Bad Sun The Bravery The Sun And The Moon
I Miss You Blink 182 Blink-182
Perfect Simple Plan MTV Hard Rock Live
Ours The Bravery The Twilight Saga: Eclipse
On The Ropes The Wonder Stuff If The Beatles Had Read Hunter…The Singles
Alcoholic Starsailor Win When You’re Singing (Sampler)
Vaya Con Dios Gavin Rossdale Love Remains The Same (Single)
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Bush in Frankfurt (ii) … A Review

Short version: A-mazing!

To elaborate: Of the four musicians who went on stage around 9:00 PM, only two were with the band when they released their last album, ten years ago. Of the original founding nucleus, only singer Gavin Rossdale is left. The other two apparently couldn’t be bothered to go on tour, again. With some band reunions or comebacks, esp. when there is essentially only one person left, you get to wonder why do it? You ask yourself, who needs that, anyway? Imagine Billy Corgan get some new musicians and call the band Smashing Pumpkins … oh wait, bad example, that’s what he’s doing. Imagine Dave Grohl change the Foo Fighters’ name to Nirvana. Ridiculous? Definitely no need. With Bush, however, after hearing the new material and having been to this concert, the only thing I keep asking myself is: Why did he wait so long?

Bush at the Gibson (i)

Gavin Rossdale, as Bush perform Machinehead

I, for one, didn’t miss a thing. The new Bush sounded like the old Bush, and yet at the same time current and alive. Of course, some say, it’s always sounded like Bush when Gavin Rossdale went on stage, even solo. I’m not sure, I totally agree. Partially, yes, but I distinctly remember hearing Rossdale say, in an interview around the release of his album Wanderlust, that that album sounded different because he’d grown fed-up with noisy guitars. And I kept thinking: Right, what a shame. With a couple of loud guitars, Wanderlust could have been not just a decent but a really cool album. Well, there’s no mistaking he’s discovered his taste for guitars, again.

The songs they played were a pretty good mix, covering new stuff (such as Sounds of Winter, All Of My Life) as well as all the important milestones of the band’s history. The concert started furiously with the Sixteen Stone song Machinehead and everybody knew where this night was going. I didn’t have time nor leisure to write down the whole set-list, but I remember hearing the following songs, too: Everything Zen, Glycerin, Alien, Swallowed, Cold Contagious, The Chemicals Between Us. There seem to have been some issues with the band equipment, which upset Rossdale a little, but I cannot say I noticed anything detrimental.

When the band stopped playing after somewhat more than an hour, I was the slightest bit disappointed I hadn’t heard Comedown, but then there was the encore. To see and hear Bush come back on stage and perform Pink Floyd’s Breathe and the Beatles’ Come Together both in very special ways was charming, hilarious and altogether awesome. They added a few more songs and concluded the concert with the song I’d been waiting for performed with just as much energy as the opening track and letting me leave the concert drenched to bone in sweat and deeply satisfied.

Bush at the Gibson (ii)

Gavin Rossdale without the red jacket that he definitely didn’t need after the first song

While queuing two hours before the band started to play, I was already thinking how great it was that a 90s-band that hadn’t released an album in ten years, could still draw such a crowd. After the concert, I was surprised and delighted to see how many of those people could also sing along. All in all a night to remember and worth every single Euro.

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